In an August 3 press conference, Mayor de Blasio announced that the Open Restaurants program will return on June 1, 2021, if not earlier.
The expanded outdoor dining program is currently scheduled to go until October 31, and a number of new streets were recently added to NYC’s stretches of car-free outdoor dining. One of these new stretches is 97th to 110th Streets on Amsterdam Ave, though this area will only be car-free on weekends.
According to the Department of Transportation, over 9,700 NYC restaurants are currently participating in the Open Restaurants program. In his press conference, the Mayor also stated that about 80,000 jobs have been saved.
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Council Member Keith Powers recently proposed that NYC make outdoor dining permanent, while also proposing other methods of assisting restaurant and small business owners.
However, many restaurants are still struggling, and will likely continue to struggle while indoor dining remains indefinitely postponed. Other restaurants are receiving fines for COVID-related infractions, with some – like Hi Life Bar & Grill and George Keeley – facing liquor license suspensions. We reached out to both of these Upper West Side bars for comment. The owner of Hi Life told us a misunderstanding in the State’s guidance lead to this suspension without any prior warning.